The decision to homeschool is not one to be taken lightly. We did not come to our decision overnight, instead this has been an option that we’ve tossed around and argued about and gone back and forth on since Maddie was in the 8th grade. That was when we first began to see that she was not adapting well to high school.
In our public school high school begins in the 8th grade. In an effort to save money (yes it always comes down to money!) the district combined many grades together. So the lower grades go to one building, while the kids that should actually be in the lower grade building have been shuffled to the Middle School – so you have 4th – 7th graders there, and then 8th – 12th in the high school. In addition, some brilliant mind decided that the classes should be longer with the marking periods shorter, in order to cram more subjects into an already insane day. Add to that extra curricular activities such as clubs, sports, band, drama and what do you have? Pressure, pressure, pressure.
The “norm” seems to be that pressure for teens is good, they need this pressure and angst to become great adults! I cry foul! Why do we consider it a good thing for kids to be miserable?? Why do we push these kids until they are so overwhelmed they completely shut down and can do nothing?? Do people not realize, or care, that rather than creating strong adults you are instead giving these kids issues that will follow them throughout their adulthood and handicap them as they go through life? Call me crazy, but I happen to think the “norm” is anything but normal!
Now some kids might thrive on this and some do. But I think the majority are secretly suffering and the schools don’t care. One disturbing thing I was told when we first went to the school counselors with Maddie’s anxiety issues was, “Oh yes, we have many students with anxiety problems.” Like it was no big deal. Something is very wrong here in public schools if they consider ongoing anxiety issues as just another thing kids must go through.
So as a parent, I finally came to the decision that Maddie’s continued request to be homeschooled was not a bad one after all. Who wants their children to suffer with anxiety and unhappiness? To feel completely numb and helpless, hopeless, when they go to school? Once we made the decision to homeschool Maddie for high school, I saw a dramatic change in my daughter. She is happy! She is hopeful, she is content and for the first time in her school career she is excited! What more could a parent want?
This is why we came to this decision. Your decision may have been made from other reasons, religious, economical, etc.,. but whatever your reason please know that by doing what is best for YOUR child, you are doing the right thing! Pay no attention to the naysayers, public school may work fine for them and their children. Putting your children first however, is never a wrong decision!